Friday, June 25, 2010
Education and Culture
Education (part 51)
Education is the primary means by which our culture is produced. There are ultimately only two philosophies: Christian and anti-Christian, and these two philosophies produce two radically different cultures. These two cultures must collide at every point!
How a culture acts cannot be separated from education. "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he" (Prov. 23:7). As Henry Van Til said: "Culture is religion externalized." To the degree that the school is distinctively Christian in its philosophy, the culture will be more or less Christian or anti-Christian. Schools are essential in the transmission of a culture's philosophy or worldview, and a worldview is exactly what a child is given in school—it's unavoidable. Capture the schools and you have control of the next generation through the formation of the philosophy or worldview. In one generation we can transform the entire culture. I remember that in the 1980s the Sandanistas were intent on replacing every public school teacher with one that was loyal to their cause. They declared that within 30 years their revolution would then be complete. Or, as J. Gresham Machen put it, "If you give the bureaucrats the children, you might just as well give them everything else." (Machen, p. 98)
How much has the world changed in the last generation? Are you witnessing things in our culture that you thought you would never see? Has the unthinkable and the unmentionable become thinkable and even commonplace? Well then, do you think it can change again? Do you think this culture of avarice and death will live forever? Or do think the Christian philosophy is not up to the task of a resurrection?